Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones Isn’t Quite Dead In The Water

Ubisoft are reworking it into a live service game.

Skull & Bones

Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones was missing from the Ubisoft Forward showcase that took place this past weekend, and it turns out there’s a good reason for that. According to a new report from VGC, Ubisoft have rebooting the game’s development, with the intent of turning the game into a live service experience.

The report states that Skull & Bones’ live service style would differ from the likes of The Division, which is already in Ubisoft’s portfolio. Instead, the game will offer “a persistent game world with quests, characters and storylines that will drastically evolve and change over time based on the collective actions of the community”. The main comparison here would be the live storytelling aspects of Fortnite, and that the game will focus on collaboration.

Skull & Bones was announced during E3 2017, which seems like so long ago now. After reappearing at E3 2018 with the promise of a closed beta that never materialised, the game has been delayed repeatedly until Ubisoft’s next financial year, which starts April 2021. The game’s Twitter account has been silent since May 2019, as the developers said they’d “batten down the hatches” to work on the game after another delay.

The VGC report notes that Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot commented on the potential of Skull & Bones in an earnings call last year, stating that he believed the IP was “a very big product for us” with “huge potential”. There was even plans for a female-driven TV show. Considering all that, it’s easy to see why Ubisoft have stood by the game for so long, instead of simply cancelling the project and devoting the resources to other games like Watch Dogs: Legion, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 6.

That said, will there even be an audience for Skull & Bones when it does launch? The live service market, even just within Ubisoft’s own portfolio, is quite crowded as it is, so there may not even be room for the game a year or two from now, especially with the likes of Destiny 2 and Fortnite that’ll likely be around until the inevitable heat death of the universe.

What are your thoughts? Will you be playing Skull & Bones when it launches, likely on next-gen consoles? Sound off in the comments.

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